The Shun Paring Knife – Why It’s An Awesome Guy Tool

If you thought the Shun Paring Knife was just for her, guess again!

Paring knives were designed for the kitchen, mainly to be used by the ladies while they chop veggies and salad greens right? WRONG!

Shun (“Shoon”) is Japanese for “at the peak of perfection”, and all of the knives from Shun live up to this expectation. All Shun knives are perfect for men and women alike and boast incredibly sharp edges, stunning aesthetics and uniqueness thanks to their hand-made process.

Why Shun?

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Well…simply put, Shun knives come is as the best option if you want a blade that’s super sharp and will hold its edge, and as an added bonus, they handle like a dream!

Shun is a Japanese brand, but I’m not implying that high-end German, American and Swiss manufacturers don’t bring real value to the table, but they just kind of lag behind the innovative technique of knife forging that the Japanese have.

Shun essentially represents the best Japanese made Western Style Knives!

I’m going a little off my own beaten path here by venturing into kitchen knives. And come on, admit it, all men like to get their cooking game on every now and then, but for this, you’ll need a sharp tool!

Choosing a Shun Paring Knife 

Shun Paring Knives might seem like a little too much knife for the average home cook, and the price tag could easily scare off the newbie knife collector, but it’s an investment that’s going to repay itself in the long run.

I’m not going to get into the details of why you ‘need’ a paring knife. If you want the details on that, feel free to head over to my friend Mary’s article about the different types of cooking knives. 

The Different Types of Shun Paring Knives

There are 5 different types of paring knives from Shun. Some of them offer you more professional results, and also come at a steeper price tag. Here are my thoughts about the Shun Paring Knife lineup.

Shun Reserve Paring Knife

This 3.5 inch paring knife comes from Shun’s top line, Reserve. I was blown away by the appealing charcoal-and-crimson PakkaWood handle that not only looks great, but feels just right in my hand. The size is perfect, compact and very versatile. Overall, it’s a top notch paring knife.

The Pros:

  • Features a razor sharp Damascus blade
  • The SG-2 cutting steel is ultra-fine-grained with a thin design that can be sharpened at a 16° angle for precision sharpness
  • The blade itself is beautifully balanced and offers uncompromised strength, just the way us Western folk like our knives

The Cons:

  • The edge of full tang blade might (and probably will) easily become exposed, which is a bit of a big deal to me
Shun Reserve ND0700 Paring Knife, 3.5-Inch

Shun Reserve ND0700 Paring Knife, 3.5-Inch


Shun Classic 4 Inch Paring Knife

This larger paring knife from the Shun Classic range is an essential tool in the kitchen because it will chop, dice, slice and peel with ease thanks to the 4 inch blade. The Classic line is renowned for its tasteful and contemporary design, and the 4 Inch Paring Knife is no exception to the rule. Sharp durable and rust resistant, the Classic Paring Knife really proved to be an essential kitchen tool.

The Pros:

  • The Classic Paring knife comes with VG-MAX steel, clad with Damascus stainless steel
  • The blade is rust and corrosion resistant
  • It comes in as a great alternative to the Reserve Paring knife for its considerably cheaper price tag

The Cons:

  • This knife can and will easily peel away at your fingers if you’re not careful since its seriously sharp
  • Since you can’t use your fingers to “feel” what you’re doing, it might take you some tome the get used to the trick of the tool
Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife

Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife


Shun Premier Paring Knife

I know this knife is visually appealing, but its real beauty lies in its capabilities! The thin lightweight blade has a razor sharp edge that laughs at the challenge of tricky paring tasks. I appreciated the contoured bottom of the handle that really provided me with a solid grip

The Pros:

  • The blade is made from a VG-MAX Super Steel core, which means it’s going to retain its sharp edge for a long time
  • The blade is also layered with Damascus to make it stain resistant and strengthen the core
  • The hammered ‘tsuchime’ finish creates a series of hollow-ground cavities that works great at reducing drag while you’re slicing and dicing

The Cons:

  • I actually found the wider blade a bit too wide for paring purposes, but nonetheless, it’s an amazing knife
  • You have to be very careful when handling this paring knife, using the wrong board and too much force can and will damage the blade.
Shun Premier Paring Knife, 4-Inch

Shun Premier Paring Knife, 4-Inch


Shun Kanso 3.5 inch Paring Knife

This paring knife is essentially a mini-version of Shun’s Chef’s knives and offers you heaps and bounds of versatility. It will peel, trim, core, decorate and handle other detail work superbly and the small size gives you precise control. The Kanso line from Shun is designed based on the Zen principle, so you’re ensured of simplicity with maximum effectiveness.

The Pros:

  • This paring knife has everything you want from high performance steel with razor sharp edges and perfect balance to precision cutting control.
  • The Kanso Paring knife is made from Japanese AUS10A refined high0carbon vanadium stainless steel. This means it takes and holds razor sharp edges much longer than other steel types.
  • The handle is manufactured from Tagaysan wood, also known as ‘iron sword wood’, and provides you with an excellent grip

The Cons:

  • The Kanso Paring knife isn’t as versatile as the other lines from Shun, but then again, considering that this is one of the cheapest Shun Paring Knife, it’s still beyond amazing for the price

Shun Sora Paring Knife

If you want hand crafted quality on a budget, the Sora Paring Knife from Shun is your answer. Coming in as the best bang for your buck you’ll find in Shun’s paring knife range, the Sora doesn’t come with fancy frills and the best of steels, but man it’s still better than some Western knife brands I know.

The Pros:

  • The blade is made from VG10 core and a Japanese 420J stainless steel upper, which means the edge is exactly as sharp as you need it to be.
  • I liked the wavy pattern at the joint of the blade and the handle
  • The textured PP/TPE polymer blend handle looks contemporary but still provides you with a secure grip and good overall balance

The Cons:

  • This is not a forged knife, but rather a cheaper cut steel version
  • This isn’t the “Shun you want” if you get what I’m saying
Shun VB0700 Sora Paring Knife, 3-1/2-Inch

Shun VB0700 Sora Paring Knife, 3-1/2-Inch


And that’s it guys. Now you know what Shun to shop for to make your time in the kitchen that much more enjoyable. Be sure to check back soon when I’ll be guiding you into the world of the best large hunting knives.

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